Italian Ports Maintaining Regular Operations despite COVID-19

Italian ports are fully operational despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the country which has taken claimed the lives of 5,476 people, making Italy the worst-hit country by the pandemic.

“The Italian Port Association wishes to clarify that operations in ports are carried out with adequate measures,” a letter from the association, shared by BIMCO, reads.

“Ports are, therefore, fully operational with all their regular services guaranteeing complete functionality of all those offices dedicated to control and verification (i.e. Port Authority, Customs, Harbour Master, Health department offices and so on).”

The association said that restrictions enforced by the Italian Government are referred only to the cruise sector.

Namely, the Italian government has closed its ports to all cruise vessels, both foreign and domestic ones, until April 3, 2020.

The Italian cruise ships that were already at sea would have to return to port and subject their passengers and crews to a medical examination before allowing them to disembark. Those not experiencing any symptoms of the virus would nevertheless be advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

The association pointed out that the restrictive measures adopted by the Italian government do not restrict the transport of cargo in the country.

“The precautionary obligation of the so-called “Free Sanitary Practice” issued by the Local Office of Maritime Health remains in force. This document authorizes ships to berth, and all Italian ports are equipped and ready to apply any new measures deemed necessary by the Italian Office of Civil Defence, without compromising cargo operations,” the letter reads.

According to the latest update from the Italian Civil Protection, at the moment there are 46, 638 people who tested positive to the virus, and there have been 59, 138 confirmed infection cases so far. Some 7,024 people have recovered from the infection, while 5,476 people died.

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